In case you’ve been too busy drinking craft beer to notice, our beautiful BC is currently undergoing a distillery boom. We’re not just talking about a trickle in the glass or a fleeting fad. We’re talking full-boil, pressure-cooker, mad-chemist boom. If you love craft distilleries, the West Coast most certainly is the best coast. Here are just a few of the many distilleries and cideries to check out on lower Vancouver Island.
- DeVine Spirits: A century and a half ago, the Saanich Peninsula was the breadbasket of Vancouver Island, supplying the boomtown of Fort Victoria with everything from fresh milk, to spring lambs, and elderberry wine. Today, de Vine Spirits is proud to offer Vancouver Island with gin, vodka, and whiskey made using traditional techniques and island ingredients. Visit their tasting room between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to enjoy a flight of five wines or a spirit tasting.
- Merridale Estate Cidery: Merridale is a delicious destination located in Cobble Hill that the whole family can enjoy. Tour their cellar where juice is fermented into cider and were local ingredients become craft spirits in their distillery. Then join us at the tasting bar to learn about the nuances of their award-winning ciders and spirits, or finish your tour with a ‘cold one’ on the deck.
- Fermentorium Distilling Co.: Conceived from the minds at Philips Brewing Company, the Fermentorium is a distilling house where unrestrained creativity and a hand-crafted approach shape unique recipes of all kinds. With a portfolio that includes a one of kind hop liqueur, a BC bred gin, and 4 different handcrafted tonics, the future is only limited by imagination.
- Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse: Sea Cider is family-owned, community minded orchard and ciderhouse. They grow organic cider apples and strive to produce award-winning products. They are open daily for tours and tastings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit their website to see their tasting events calendar!
- Victoria Distillers: According to Victoria Distillers “well crafted spirits are the essential building blocks of cocktails”. They are one of Canada’s oldest, small-batch spirits companies and they have just opened a brand new location is beautiful Sidney, BC! They hold daily tours beginning every half hour from noon to 4:30 p.m. Visitors are guided through the entire distillation process and are invited to taste all the premium spirits at the end of the tour. This Saturday, June 11th is World Gin Day! To celebrate, Victoria Distillers are offering 2 for 1 tours and tastings ($7 for 2 people). Reserve your spot by calling them at 250.544.8217.